A Wife in Nobility is Never Free
- ScreenwriterTong Tik-sang
Shen Yushan, a poor young woman, begs for alms in front of a temple while holding her infant sister, Cuihuan. General ZhengTao sees Yushan and falls in love with her. His mother (the Old Lady), ignoring the vast divide between Yushan’s and her son’s social statuses, sees that they are married. The Old Lady also finds a position for Yushan’s brother Menglou, that he might accompany the General and help to seek military recruits from XiQin. During their recruiting mission, the Princess YuenSu of XiQin takes a liking to the General, and he is forced to divorce Yushan and marry the Princess in exchange for troops. The Princess and the General’s wedding proceeds despite furious resistance from Menglou, who does not want to see his sister wronged. Adding insult to injury, the king’s brother demands the death of Yushan at the General’s hand. The General, under great pressure, pretends to beat Yushan. Yushan, having just swallowed a poisoned drink, succumbs to the poison during the feigned battering. Everyone assumes that the General has murdered his wife. Horrified, the Old Lady banishes her son from the household. The Princess, incensed by the General’s brutal act, leaves the palace and, together with MengLou, sees to the child Cuihuan’s upbringing.
More than a decade passes. The General, now a monk, carrying a clay figurine begging for alms, comes under Cuihuan's teasing. The Princess soon learns, much to her chagrin, that the young maiden has fallen in love with the old monk out of pity. The Old Lady, still believing her son to have murdered his wife, demands that he stay away from Cuihuan and remain a monk. MengLou, still blaming the General for his sister’s death, contemplates revenge. Not until the distraught king's brother finally appears to explain the true course of events does the whole misunderstanding get resolved for the three parties. In the end, the young Cuihuan takes the place of her sister and marries the General.
(Translation: Loretta Ling Yeung)